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Preparation is the key to being effective and successful in your PAL Leader role and responsibilities. Otherwise your sessions can lack purpose, focus, and structure, which can heavily impact on students’ engagement and motivation to attend.
1. Contact your group before the session
- Find out from your students what they want to cover in the upcoming PAL session (ideally 3 or 4 days before) – you could even suggest topics and get them to vote using a poll
- Post an announcement on your Facebook group or send an email (using your BU email account) to your students a day or two before the session before to let them know what you plan to cover and to remind them to come to the session
- Remind them to bring along relevant notes and laptops/tablets if needed
2. Familiarise yourself with what your students have been covering
- Check and update yourself on your PAL students’ units on Brightspace - BU course content will change and be updated each academic year
- You may liaise with your PAL Academic Course Contact to check what has been covered that week in lectures/seminars
- Check PAL Central for some session ideas related to their current learning
3. Plan out your session
- Use the ‘PAL Session Plan’ on PAL Central to plan out your session and structure
- Think about what you/your students want to achieve from the session and set ‘session aims’
- Consider how much time to set aside for each activity and for feedback as a whole group
- Always have back up activities in case you run short - over-preparing is always better than under-preparing, then you select what you use and be more flexible
You can download your own session plan here to be organised for your PAL sessions and be prepared with a back up plan!